15 June 2019

4 Tips for Kids Healthy Teeth and Gums

As parents its important to get our kids set up with good habits that lead to healthy teeth and gums.  Learning these habits early on will help shape their value on oral health as they move into adulthood.  Not only does good oral hygiene help to avoid trips to the dentist for things like cavities, it can also prevent other health problems from arising.  The following are four tips that promote healthy teeth and gums in kids.

1. Brush and Floss Daily


While this may seem like a well known tip, it is one that is often not followed, especially with kids.  While ideally you should brush after every meal, it is recommended that kids (and adults!) should brush at least twice a day and floss at night before bed.  To help kids understand how long they should be brushing their teeth you may want to get a handy kitchen timer to help.  Brushing should be at least two minutes and flossing should be done with care around each tooth.  If your children are younger this could be a great time to model how to brush and floss right alongside them!

2. Regular Dental Visits


Kids should be visiting the dentist for a check-up and cleaning every six months.  If you have a baby and are not sure when their first baby dental visit should be, the normal guideline is between 6 and 12 months, or when their first teeth have come in.  By having your child visit the dentist regularly on schedule this helps your child learn the importance of oral health.  If your child is apprehensive about going to the dentist listen to their concerns and be supportive to them by helping to answer any questions they may have.  There are some great dental offices that specifically cater to children and have a warm inviting atmosphere that helps to ease any worries.  Try researching local dental offices in your area and see what may work for your child.

 3. Be a Good Example


Children learn a lot of things by what they hear and observe.  As a parent you can help instill good oral hygiene habits in your children by being a good example of how to care for your teeth.  Show them how to properly brush and floss as well as keep up with your own dental visits.  Before brushing your own teeth you might want to take the time to inquire with your child if they have brushed theirs yet and maybe brush with them.  Regularly check in with your child if they are brushing and flossing and praise your child for keeping good healthy habits.

4. Limit the Sugar


While this is another tip that seems easy enough, it can be one as parents we may not be mindful about regularly.  When opting for snacks around the house for yourself and especially your kids, opt for ones low in sugar.  Fresh fruits and veggies can be great snack choices.  Ways to incorporate this could be celery sticks with peanut butter, cut up veggies with dip, yogurt topped with fresh fruit, or easy to grab and go options like grapes and apples.  Also be aware of how much sugar your child is drinking.  Many fruit juices can still be high in sugar and soda should be limited or avoided altogether.

Start these habits for healthy teeth and gums at a young age and your child will be less likely to have oral health problems later down the road.  If you have any questions or concerns about your child's oral hygiene you should talk with your child's dentist and/or hygienist who can be great resources and they could also provide you with additional tips.  If you're looking for a great dentist in the Raleigh, North Carolina area, try giving Lane and Associates Family Dentistry a try!


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